Driscoll, Piper, Calvin and God’s Gift of…Racism?

Mars Hill Pastor Mark Driscoll

“It’s right for God to slaughter women and children anytime he pleases. God gives life and he takes life. Everybody who dies, dies because God wills that they die.”

-John Piper (quoted in an interview previously available on his website, which has since been taken down. The post was called “How Can God Kill Women and Children?” and referred to the genocide of the Canaanites in scripture.)

I’ve had a number of interesting discussions with various people lately about the notions of hell, salvation and who goes where. It’s a rhetorical exercise for the most part, since no one really knows. But there are plenty of real-life implications, particularly in the sphere of religion. For some, the understanding of what happens to us after we die is the prime mover in their day-to-day faith.

I know that the times when I resonate with more hard-line evangelical theology are few and far between, but in this case, I tend to resonate more closely with them than with my brothers and sisters of the Calvinist (also called Reformed Church) movement. For some not familiar with the differences, common Evangelical belief would suggest that God’s saving grace is available to all who seek it, and that the only thing standing between us and eternal salvation is us and our unwillingness to accept God’s perfect gift. In the Reformed Church, however (represented most prominently today by pastors like Mark Driscoll and John Piper), salvation is reserved for an elect few. The rest of creation will suffer the eternal wrath of God, period.

So how do we know who will be saved? For that, Calvinists offer the idea of irresistible grace. Basically, this means that those already chosen to be saved will find their way in the world to obedience, faithfulness and righteousness in the way God intends. And of course, the Calvinists tend to believe that it is those who incline themselves to the teaching of the Reformed Church who are clearly on this path. So although they don’t claim to hold exclusive authority over the dispensation of salvation (like some churches have done and still do), Reformed Churches are merely the venue within which the elect congregate.

It’s a subtle difference for those less familiar with religious history, but an important one, particularly to those debating the fate of humanity.

So what does this have to do with racism? Basically, Calvinists believe in the depravity of man, or that we cannot possibly attain God’s grace on our own. Not through works, and not through a confession of faith. It seems, then, that free will itself takes too much away from the sovereignty of God in the Reformed Church to be viable. So sorry, free will, but you’re out. In order for God to be properly sovereign (all powerful), humanity cannot have so much control over their own destiny.

Second, there is the notion that some of us are favored or chosen by God, and others are not. Why or how is this determined? Calvinists say this is to seek to know the mind of God.

John Calvin

which is both impossible and blasphemous. It’s how it is, like it or not. Some Reformed Church leaders will even say (at least on public record) that they hope they’re wrong about this particular matter, but that their understanding of the Bible leads them inevitably to this conclusion.

There’s more to Calvinism than this, but these two ideas are at the heart of my point. If you believe humanity ultimately is depraved, and that only a preordained few are to receive God’s sovereign grace, this is fertile ground for seeing much of the world as “less than.”

And what’s more, Calvinists can divest themselves of the culpability for such supremacist thinking, because, after all, it’s God’s will! This isn’t how we want it, they say, but it just is how it is.

Sorry, but you’re depraved. You’re doomed. You have no hope, as evidenced by the fact that you’re not part of our tribe. Were you one of God’s chosen, you would find your way to our side of the line, because God would lead you there.

This is not to say that people of the Reformed Church inherently believe that white males are favored by God, but the very idea that some would be loved more than others by their creator sets up a kind of zionist thinking that would make Ayn Rand blush. It can be used to justify violence, even war, and the subjugation of the rights of many for the furtherance of God’s sovereign will.

Who decides what God’s will is? We can assume, based on the framework constructed by the Reformed Church that no one outside of their walls would have any credible authority on the matter.

John Piper

I know that we can look to scripture for support that God favors some over others. For some Christians, this is precisely why we must lend so much military support to Israel, given that they are God’s chosen (what?!?! two groups claiming to be God’s elect?). But the issue I take with this is that everyone places themselves at the center of such a God-and-humanity love story when they are the ones telling the story. Mormons believe they have God’s favor. Jehova’s Witnesses believe they do. Calvinists think they have the corner on the salvation market, and so on.

But show me the faith that looks outside of their own tradition to point to another group as the ones favored by God, and I’ll consider changing my position. Until then, it seems to be more of a “Daddy loves me best” argument than any legitimate basis for a religious movement.

And what’s more, it furthers the toxic, violent notion that some are more worthy than others, which in my understanding, is entirely counter to the notion of God’s kingdom, in which love is made complete, all brokenness is mended, and all of God’s creation is reconciled with one another and with our Creator. And until then, it’s our job to help realize the closest approximation of this perfect, all-encompassing love.

About Christian Piatt

Christian Piatt is the creator and editor of BANNED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE BIBLE and BANNED QUESTIONS ABOUT JESUS. He co-created and co-edits the “WTF: Where’s the Faith?” young adult series with Chalice Press, and he has a memoir on faith, family and parenting being published in early 2012 called PREGMANCY: A Dad, a Little Dude and a Due Date.

  • http://twitter.com/MAGuyton Morgan Guyton

    You should read J Kameron Carter’s Race: A Theological Account. His argument is that modern European racism paradoxically arose from the attempt to make Christianity universal rather than particular in the wake of the post-Reformation religious wars. The unintended consequence of the Enlightenment backlash against religious sectarianism was that Christianity became “universal rationality” while Judaism remained “ignorant particularity.” This created “whiteness,” the falsely neutral vantage point without particularity. Every race with “culture” and “traditions” that weren’t merely pure reason needed the white man to come around and civilize them through colonialism, slavery, etc.

    Election properly understood nips racism in the bud if your understanding of it is framed by 1 Corinthians 1:27-29. Election is the same as preferential option for the poor at least how the Biblical writers use it. When Israel is a band of freed slaves who shouldn’t have survived as a people instead of a global nuclear power with the 4th largest army in the world, then their election serves the purpose of inverting worldly power. What we see in our context is of course an abomination of the concept of election and those who revel in it are not reveling in God’s heart for the least and the last but God’s nihilism.

    • http://twitter.com/BoEberle Bo Eberle

      Carter is a genius, you’re onto something here

    • Whit Johnstone

      That sort of election is very different from Calvinist election.

  • Hannah

    Someone asked me once if I was Calvinist (which I’m not), and I replied with “Does it matter?”
    She looked thoughtful for a moment, nodded her head, and said “Good point.”

  • http://twitter.com/PrayerPunk PrayerPunk

    I saw a video where Piper condoned genicide. Don’t worry, it was sanctioned by God. This type of theology is what happens when you are all head and no heart. I can see the line of logic that leads these people to theses conclusions, but their heart should tell them they are wrong. I suppose that is when pride steps in. This is what happens when you read the Bible to prove your hypothesis that “Jesus is the God of my saved church.”

    • Charles

      All head and no heart. What an apt description!

    • SamHamilton

      Is this video online? What genocide was Piper condoning? More details please…

      • Amy

        I’m not the original poster, but I would be willing to bet he’s talking about the Canaanite genocide [Old Testament].

        • Christian Piatt

          yes, I posted the quote from his interview above.

      • Christian Piatt

        This is the text quote from a video interview he did about the Canaanite Genocide: “It’s right for God to slaughter women and children anytime he pleases. God gives life and he takes life. Everybody who dies, dies because God wills that they die.”

        • Christian Piatt

          The post has since been taken down but I included the link to where it was at the top of this article.

        • SamHamilton

          Thanks for providing the context Christian. There’s a lot of theology packed into these couple sentences.

    • SamHamilton

      Christian provided the context and direct quote below. I think it’s a bit disingenuous to say that Piper “condoned genocide.”

  • advancedatheist

    As I like to phrase it, irresistible grace means that god condemns you to spend eternity with it, whether you want that destiny or not.

    But I don’t fully understand the christian horror of eternal damnation. If you go to hell forever, won’t you do so with the understanding that your existence has meaning & purpose?

  • Hilary

    “But show me the faith that looks outside of their own tradition to point to another group as the ones favored by God, and I’ll consider changing my position. Until then, it seems to be more of a “Daddy loves me best” argument than any legitimate basis for a religious movement.”

    From the Mishnah, the oldest part of the Jewish Talmud, ~200 ce:

    R. Jochanan said: A heathen who studies Torah deserves death, for it is written, ‘Moses commanded us a law for an inheritance, it is our inheritance, not theirs. Why is this then not included in the Noachide laws?’
    An objection was raised. R. Meir used to say, ‘Whence do we know that even a heathen who studies Torah is as a High Priest? From the verse ‘Ye shall therefor keep my statues and my judgements, which, if a man* do, he shall live in them.’ (Lev18:5) Priests, Levites and Israelites are not mentioned, but men: hence thou mayest learn that even a heathen who studies the Torah is as a High Priest! – That referes to their own seven laws.’

    Tractate Sanhedrin 59a, From the English translation of the Babylonian Talmud, translated by Socino Press in London, printed in the Netherlands in 1935, photocopyed from my Temple’s Library.

    This passage comes after several pages of debate about the seven laws that, according to rabbinic interpretation, where given to the sons of Noah after the flood for all humanity to follow. They are: to aknowledge G-d as the divine creator, not to curse G-d, not to committ murder, theft, sexual immorality, to limit animal cruelty as described by not eating the flesh of a limb torn from a living animal, and to set up honest courts of law. By traditional Jewish understanding, any human being or society that can meet these basic, minimum requirements to the best of their ability is considered rightous before G-d. This is the bases for the Jewish beleif that “the righteous of all people have a place in the world to come.”

    * I checked the Hebrew on this verse, I have several Hebrew/English bibles and dictionaries at home. The word used is ha-Adam, human being. Usually the word used for man is ‘ish, woman ‘ishah, for Jews as a community b’nei Israel, or Cohanim or Levi’im for priests and Levites. I know Christians interperet that verse differently, but Jews do not have original sin in our understanding of human nature. To be a decendant of Adam means to be a human being, created in the image of G-d, created with an innocent soul with both the inclination for good, yetzer ha-tov, and the inclination for evil, yetzer ha-rah. We are capable of what is good and right just as much as doing what is sinful.

    ‘And you shall live by them’ is taken to mean that we are capable of living by the law and commandments, torah and mitzvot, that G-d has given to us as a blessing. However the application of miztvot is interpreted, this is the trump card – that we should live by them. If they are applied in such a way that is impossible to live by, or do not inhance our lives, then we are interpreting them wrong, because the law (Torah) and miztvot (commandments) were given to us so we could live. Hence the ruling that we are commanded to break any rule of Sabbath observance to save a life, so that we may ‘live by them’ and live to celebrate more Sabbath’s later.

    This statement about being rightous as something all humans can strive for is backed by the Psalms:

    “Scripture does not say, ‘Open the gates, that Priests, Levites, and Israelites may enter, but ‘Open the gates that the righteous goy, nation, keeping faithfullness may enter’ Isaiah 26:2 ‘goy means a people or nation, either Jewish or Pagan. . . . Likewise it does not say, ‘Rejoice in the Lord, O ye Priests, Levites, and Israelites,’ but “Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous’ (Psalms 33:1). And finally it does not say, “Do good O Lord, to the Priests, Levites, and Israelites,’ but ‘unto the good’ (Psalms 125:4, which clearly refers to good men among all nations). It is thus abundantly demonstrated that even a pagan, provided he adheres to the moral discipline of the Torah, is the equal of the highest ranking priest in Israel.” Yalkut Shimeoni, commenting on Lev 18:5

    From “Judaism and the Christian Predicament” p. 167 by Ben Zion Bokser, copyright 1966.

    So there you go. This is the Rabbinic/Talmudic prooftexting to see all human people as favored by G-d for righteous behavior, as opposed to tribal religous identity or belief.

  • Andrew

    I’m quite disappointed in this article. Those who interpret Calvinism like this misunderstand the basic Calvinist understanding of grace. People choose to place their own understanding of God and the Bible above 1) what is said in the Bible and 2) how God can be good and sovereign with the existence of Hell. Yes, we believe that Hell exists (as is most clearly demonstrated by the words of Christ). We believe that people who do not walk with God will be condemned BY GOD as the just result of their deeds (expressed in the Bible). But to assume that Calvinist look at themselves as some sort of better-than-thou believer who are “part of the few” is completely false. Consider a man who believes he has been saved completely by the grace of God, without even a choice. He is extremely thankful to God, and, by the recognition that others may not be saved, is so much more desirous that others be saved because the TRUE Calvinist recognizes that HE HAS NO CONTROL, but it is all God. Then consider the man who believes HE CHOSE GOD. The person who didn’t choose God becomes less to that man because the person who doesn’t choose God isn’t “righteous enough” to make the right choice. But then comes a proper understanding of justification which would take a book. Please reconsider your thoughts on the Reformed tradition and read a couple books, or even articles, from John Calvin before you make blanket assertions that are unfounded.

    • http://twitter.com/BoEberle Bo Eberle

      Doesn’t seem like anything you said contradicts Christian’s post. You’re just sketching out the ugly logical consequences of such a view. The True Calvinist realizes that God cause a lot of rape, murder, starvation, racism, sexism, and holocausts. Funny that people who don’t walk with God are punished even though they had no choice! Scary stuff!

      • Samuel G

        Bo, I am a bit confused. I see that you are a seminarian, but it looks like you are deliberately misunderstanding what Calvinists actually believe. I would think that with your apparent concern for intellectual understanding and a concern for “grace and beauty” you would be more willing to try to understand what others actually believe and to charitably give them the benefit of the doubt, rather than trying to put words in their mouths.

      • Please God Why

        people that do walk with god actually experience all this stuff also. all the time. to me, that is even scarier stuff. it’s also the reason i am beginning to believe that the christian god, however he is denominationally constituted, does not exist at all.

    • http://www.facebook.com/alanjayrichard Alan Jay Richard

      A Calvinist who actually reads Calvin knows she doesn’t know whether she’s one of the elect. There are signs, but all are ambiguous. Our salvation is literally none of our business. We also don’t know who is damned, and that too is none of our business. Reality throws up an awful lot of shit, and we don’t know why. We can’t know if it’s God’s punishment. We can’t know if it’s God’s mistake. We can’t know if it’s God’s joke.

      What we have, finally, (in my interpretation of Calvin) is that we find ourselves grasped by a tradition that gives us a set of questions and symbols and some kind of account of what it’s all about – and by “ourselves” I don’t just mean “we” Calvinists, but everyone – and our choice is to live out of the story that grasps us or just keep looking for the better story that tells us how things REALLY are. The Institutes does finally admit that its own story is just one of those stories, not the ‘real goods.’ That’s what I like about it.

      I don’t see what’s so objectionable about that. What I like about it is that it avoids creating an image of God that is just a projection of our own highest values, and it avoids creating an image of God that undergirds our sense of coherence or gives us a sense of our own superiority.

  • Samuel G

    Let me begin by saying that I am not a Calvinist, but am in fact an avowed Arminian…

    I am deeply disappointed in this article for its irresponsible treatment of Calvinism. I have my problems with Calvinism, specifically with the issues swirling around limited atonement, but if we want to talk about what we find to be disconcerting in Calvinism it is best to deal with legitimate issues rather than the straw men.

    Calvinists make very clear that no one is more or less deserving of God’s love. This is why they teach about “unconditional election”; they believe that the election to salvation is not based on any difference (condition) in the people being elected, but instead based only on God’s gracious and inscrutable (to humans) choice. The emphasis is so strong upon God’s gracious and undeserved election that there is very little room for those who would twist Calvinist teachings to support the idea that some people are more special than others.

    In practice, most Calvinists I know seem to have a fairly highly developed sense of the call to holiness for Christians which rules out treating others as “less than.” Likewise, Calvinism does not teach that election is based on race, ethnicity, gender, national identity, etc. (remember “unconditional election”?) but in fact explicitly rejects any such conditionality and is thus fundamentally anti-racist.

    I am sorry that you have either encountered Calvinists who somehow held to these false interpretations of Calvinism or that you somehow misunderstood Calvinist teaching, but your accusations simply aren’t true of what they believe.

    • http://twitter.com/BoEberle Bo Eberle

      Isn’t it worse that there are no criteria for election and those of you who believe you have it just won the lottery at the rest of our expense? All you Calvinists don’t contradict anything in this post, you’re just upset that the logical implications are drawn. Although how you think that as someone destined to be an eternal saint you are not more “special” than someone like me who is damned for all eternity like a piece of garbage I have no idea.

      • Samuel G

        Hi Bo,
        I am not sure you read my comment all the way. I made clear at the beginning that I am not a Calvinist.

        • http://twitter.com/BoEberle Bo Eberle

          Sorry, I did, but apparently halfway through forgot the first sentence. But the point still holds, there is no “other” interpretation of Calvinism. Sovereignty means sovereignty. Might be a good time to check out Process Theology and John Cobb ; )

          • Samuel G

            I still have to disagree with you. In my first comment I offered several points on which Calvinistic belief contradicts the post. For instance, the article suggests that Calvinism naturally leads to racism (and the title goes further to imply that Calvinist teachers have been encouraging racism), when in fact Calvinism does no such thing but actually provides its own foundation for combating racism.

            Likewise, the article claims that Calvinism leads to a sense of specialness and being more lovable, when in fact Calvinist teaching prohibits putting any condition upon God’s election, which precludes being more special or lovable.

            Is it possible for Calvinists to misunderstand their own basic doctrines and twist them to sinful use? Sure. But that isn’t an indictment on their actual theology or the practice of many Calvinists.

            As far as Process Theology goes; I’ve looked into it. No thank you. :-)

  • http://twitter.com/BoEberle Bo Eberle

    Calvinists have serious trouble extrapolating the logical implications of their views. It’s like Romney recently being pressed on his views about cutting FEMA after Sandy. He wont talk about it, just change the subject and put a positive spin on it!

  • http://twitter.com/BoEberle Bo Eberle

    One other thing on the topic of Calvinism: I wish my fellow critics of Calvinism would give up ecclesiology for this reason. We have nothing in common with these people. There is no “Church.” We have more in common with brothers and sisters of other faiths who share our vision of grace and beauty. I’m sure this is the comment where I lose everyone, but rather than playing the “who’s in/who’s out” game about the Church (because certainly I’m no more a part of these people’s church that the LDS Church, doctrinal differences are so severe) why not give up the idea of a singular Christian “Church” that falsely implies we’re all together or share some thing in common? “Jesus,” sure, but that’s only a name. Our Jesus’s aren’t anything like one another.

    • Anastasios

      The Orthodox and Catholics nowadays more or less accept each other as being (in some sense) part of the same church, even if they disagree as to which of the two communions is the “original” church and which of them is semi-schismatic. They, along with some Anglicans, share a common understanding of church as Apostolic Succession. This, historically-rooted definition of church excludes Calvinists and other sects, but then you have already said you don’t want to be part of the same church as Calvinists. Why don’t you check out Orthodoxy? There are many things to like about it. You will never hear the Orthodox talking like Piper does above. In some ways, Eastern Orthodoxy has more in common with Judaism (as Hilary above describes it) than it does with Calvinism in its view of how God views us. In many ways, Orthodoxy is the original Messianic Judaism. If Geneva’s a beast, head East!

      • Please God Why

        so many do, actually. common progression of seeking christians is, non-denom seeker friendly just like the world worship music playing, legalistic evangelical, disillusioned with the lack of doctrine so now calvinist pca or worse, then either lutheran, episcopal for the litergy or liberal mainstream for the social justice , then either catholic, eastern or atheist/agnostic. it’s weird how so many travel this road, getting on at any level then going to the end. i wonder why

  • Hilary

    I know that quoting Talmud on a discussion about Calvinism is a little wierd and off topic, but I wanted to answer Christian’s question about a faith looking outside their own tradition to see others as ‘saved.’ I’ve read some stuff from John Hendryx’s web page about Reformed Christianity, and I think it’s fair to say Calvinistic Christianity and Talmudic Judaism are about as far apart as you can get in a lot of ways. I’m not going to get into an argument about the value of Reformed Christianity versus other types of Christianity; I don’t have a bone in that fight and I don’t understand much of the terms used anyway.
    But one thing I don’t understand that maybe someone here can comment on is the belief that nothing we do is ever good enough for G-d, nothing we do matters. I fundamentally don’t get that mindset. If I won fifty million dollors and donated 49.5 million to NGO’s for clean water, food and medicine, does that mean nothing? Lives saved, lives greatly improved for generations, I was hungery and you fed me, I was thirsty and you brought me water . . . would it mean nothing at all to Jesus if I did that? I don’t have millions of dollars, but I do what I can. I guess I’m used to a relationship with G-d as a covanent where both parties have an important role to play.
    Hilary

  • grace abounds

    I was with a group of contemplative types all week, and all agreed that if Mike Huckabee is right in saying a vote for Democrats is a ticket to hell, we plan to transform the place. On the other hand, if he has the right to decide where people will end up, don’t I have the right to decide where he ends up?

  • http://www.alittlewhitenoise.com Lee Shelton

    FYI, the John Piper video in question is still available on the Desiring God web site here: http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/ask-pastor-john/what-made-it-ok-for-god-to-kill-women-and-children-in-the-old-testament.

  • Morgan

    More from the interview which yes can still be found at DG:

    “God is taking life every day. He will take 50,000 lives today. Life is in God’s hand. God decides when your last heartbeat will be, and whether it ends through cancer or a bullet wound. God governs.

    So God is God! He rules and governs everything. And everything he does is just and right and good. God owes us nothing.

    If I were to drop dead right now, or a suicide bomber downstairs were to blow this building up and I were blown into smithereens, God would have done me no wrong. He does no wrong to anybody when he takes their life, whether at 2 weeks or at age 92.

    God is not beholden to us at all. He doesn’t owe us anything.

    Now add to that the fact we’re all sinners and deserve to die and go to hell yesterday, and the reality that we’re even breathing today is sheer common grace from God.”

  • http://twitter.com/dstwocents Dina

    The fact that Calvinism and Arminianism exist is actually troubling to me. Because both claim to have arrived at those conclusions from studying the Bible in depth, and they come to opposite conclusions. And I’m told I’m supposed to be in one camp or the other. Pick your flavor of Christianity, but pick wisely because one of those camps is wrong! How is anyone who’s not a Christian possibly NOT be completely overwhelmed by all this?

    • Hilary

      This is what I’ve noticed too. The bible is like an ink blot test – what you see in it is as much a reflection of what you are looking for and have been trained to see as the actual picture itself. Personally I see scripture, all scripture, Torah, Gospel, Quran, the Bhuddist and Hindu text I can’t spell, all of it as a recorded, canonized part of an ongoing conversation betwen us and G-d. I have my conversation in Hebrew, with a Minnesotan accent, and enjoy learning about other peoples conversations.
      Like most non-Christians I just roll my eyes at their idea that they are the *only* ones having The Right (TM) conversation with G-d, and shrug. What ever – like G-d is too small to understand and love you if you don’t adhere to the right formula of belief. As long as they don’t legislate that everybody as to follow their specific rules about being Christian I can live and let live. IE if you are Catholic and don’t want to use birth control, fine, don’t, but it’s not your place to prohibit others from using it.
      I stated earlier in this thread about the Talmudic reasoning to see people’s actions as more important then specific belief. I’ll stand by it too.
      Hilary

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1219535133 Genie Christie Long

        Hilary, I find your posts to be cogent and relevant. Thank you. I would add in response to Christian’s comment ‘But show me the faith that looks outside of their own tradition to point
        to another group as the ones favored by God, and I’ll consider changing
        my position. Until then, it seems to be more of a “Daddy loves me best”
        argument than any legitimate basis for a religious movement’ that Jews believe that anyone holding a faith in the one God is good – you do not have to be Jewish to be in with God. Jews do not proselytize because we believe Christians and Muslims believe in the same God we do, but just choose another path to the same place.

    • Please God Why

      nice. this bothers me also. both can not be correct but both can show scripture after scripture. this to me proves neither is likely to be true.

  • http://www.facebook.com/christian.pacifism.3 Christian Pacifism

    The post of Piper’s interview has not been taken down. It is linked over at Red Letter Christians in comments to this same article.That is a very unfortunate quote from Piper, whom I respect, which I am sure that he wished he could have worded it much better. In context, he is picking up the term in which the interviewer framed the question. And reading the whole article gives an honest picture of what he was trying to say, unlike the attention getting headline.
    As a Christian pacifist, I recognize God’s sovereignty and we moderns cannot explain
    away everything in the OT as fitting into our own limited perspective.

    Here is a video that gives us all a much better picture of Calvinism, where a hyper-Calvinst takes a swipe at Piper [poor guy, he gets lambasted from right and left!]

    http://sdcougar.startlogic.com/blog/?p=179

  • BrendtWayneWaters

    I used to be a Calvinist. I’m not anymore. I used to think that Piper hung the moon. I don’t anymore.

    That said, here’s a picture of that racist with his daughter and wife: http://www.togetherforadoption.org/wp-content/media/Pipers.jpg

    Even though part of why I left Calvinism relates to the issues which bother you, this article is a stretch. Adding the title kills whatever credibility was left.

    • caro

      If you think that white people adopting children of color proves their lack of racism, you are incredibly naive. Much of the push by conservative Christians to adopt black and brown kids reeks of white savior issues and colonialism.

      • BrendtWayneWaters

        If you think that I think that it “proves” anything, you are incredibly naive. Anyone who knows anything about Piper beyond the fact that he’s a Calvinist, knows that he’s not a racist. The article, in and of itself, is ridiculous. The photograph was just shorthand for that fact.

        That’s one heckuva charge that Piatt has levelled, with no logical/scientific proof whatsoever. It is not helped any by a grossly over-generalized accusation without even anecdoctal proof.

        Excuse me now. I have to call my friend and tell him that the reason he married his Nigerian wife is because he has a white savior complex.

  • Ehud

    Two things:
    1 – “Christian” has an ironic name
    2 – Bo actually thinks himself to be “logical”

    Since you have picked Piper as a target…and cherry-picked his exposition of Old Testament text as a way to peg him as a racist, perhaps as you were trolling the crevices of the Desiring God site you may have also come across his book/dvd called “Bloodlines”? Just curious.

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  • Cope101

    “This is not to say that people of the Reformed Church inherently believe that white males are favored by God,” – Really? Why do you think Piper adopted an African American? Why do you think he wrote a book specifically on race and overcoming racism?
    You obviously have not done any research on this

  • http://www.facebook.com/paul.shaddick Paul Shaddick

    Such a misrepresentation of what John Piper and other reformed Christians actually believe. If anyone really wants to want to understand God’s sovereignty in saving some but not all, you could do worse than start with this article by Bob Deffinbaugh: http://bible.org/seriespage/sovereignty-god-salvation-romans-91-24

  • DonD

    I just recently discovered this site and I no fan of Calvinists or of Christian Piatt, but I do like the way that he encourages discussion about what some consider taboo, like asking a Calvinist to support his position from a argument. I( must qualify why I am no fan of Piatt’s and it is simply because I do not know much about him; I am still reading. I am sure that down the road he will write something I disagree with and that is just fine. I celebrate the fact that some are willing to ask the questions of what they are “supposed” to believe and by that method perhaps discover the true heart of God for them.

  • Frank Pacheco

    Pathetic religious freaks that’s what Driscoll, Piper and all those people who claim to know what God is but in reality you all need to repent and forget about your stupid predestination trash


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